NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The GOP kingmaker, fresh from a victory in the first real test of his power as former President Donald Trump The medium term enters the next phase of the campaign – and faces new risks.
Trump’s late endorsement of JD Vance The “Hillbilly Elegy” Writer In Ohio’s GOP Senate Primary Driven To Win Last Week’s ElectionStrengthens the former president’s deep ties among the most loyal Republican voters.
Trump, crowned at Friday night’s rally in Pennsylvania, where he held Vance as his trophy of achievement, said “every single candidate I supported won their primaries on Tuesday.” “Tuesday’s primary results are just the latest proof that we have changed the face of the Republican Party. RAM Ram.”
With Trump trying to assert his dominance over the party for another potential presidential run, some aides say Ohio’s victory could encourage him to increase his participation in other bitter primary battles from Arizona to Missouri. , where Eric Grettens, a former governor and current US Senate candidate, is facing allegations of misconduct. But it also cautions that the upcoming phase of the campaign, which continues with a tight GOP race for governor in Nebraska on Tuesday, could be more complicated for Trump.
“One round for Trump, but I think it gets a lot harder from here,” said GOP donor Dan Eberhart, who spent time at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club last week. “I think it’s going to encourage him to be even more involved and it’s got him to worry too,” Eberhart said, “like the day after Pennsylvania or the day after Georgia,” Pointing to questions regarding this, he said.
In some respects, Trump’s aides acknowledge, Ohio was a uniquely favorable state for him.
Trump led Ohio by more than 8 percentage points in the 2016 and 2020 elections. Candidates running to fill the seat being vacated by retired Sen. Rob Portman endorsed him while trying to present themselves to voters as the Trumpiest of the bunch. The field was crowded, meaning even a small blow would have been enough to make a difference. And Trump’s endorsement addressed what was Vance’s biggest vulnerability in the race: his past criticism of Trump.
“It clarified things, consolidated the vote and helped the JD address its lack of trust with primary voters,” said Luke Thompson, who runs Vance’s Super PAC. “It happens because Trump’s endorsement told conservative voters: You can trust this man because I do.”
Yet even in that environment there were warning signs for Trump. More than two-thirds of Republican voters cast ballots in the race who voted for Vance’s rivals. And almost a quarter chose Matt Dolan, the only candidate who did not seek Trump’s approval.
For now, though, Trump is riding high. And aides say the former president may be willing to take even greater risks now that he has secured a major victory.
That could mean an endorsement soon in Arizona’s competitive Senate primary, where Republicans will pick a candidate to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, a top target for Republicans in August.
Trump has already been favored by Blake Masters, a young conservative who, like Vance, has the backing of billionaire and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, but lacks Vance’s celebrity appeal. Masters is running against Attorney General Mark Branovich and businessman Jim Laman. Trump has repeatedly raided Branovich, accusing him of not fighting enough to reverse the will of voters in the 2020 election.
American Conservative Union president Matt Schlap said he thought Trump took a risk in backing Vance. “He took someone who was struggling with election but has a great personal biography and celebrity status and helped push him over the goal line.” Schlapp said: “I think he’s prone to taking risks in both his business career and politics and that’s why he wants to act.”
But, Schlap said, “there’s an upside and a downside to acting. If you support someone and they don’t win, it can be assumed that your support doesn’t matter as much.” Schlapp is supporting Lamon.
The rest of the month’s calendar will be more challenging for Trump, especially with the incumbent in the race.
On Tuesday, Republicans will vote in Nebraska, where Trump backed Charles Herbster, who was seen as a strong front-runner for most of the race but is now fighting allegations that he groped at least eight young women at public events. Nearly all the leaders of Nebraska’s GOP establishment stand behind businessman Jim Pilen.
Meanwhile, in West Virginia, a race in the Second Congressional District between Republican Reps. Alex Mooney and David McKinley will serve as another barometer of Trump’s clout. In one state, he won twice by a huge margin. Trump backed Mooney the day President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law last year. He has repeatedly condemned McKinley and 12 other House Republicans for voting with Democrats, although the bill provides for $6 billion in infrastructure spending for West Virginia.
Next week, Trump’s choice for an open Senate seat in North Carolina, Rep. Ted Budd, former Gov. after a rocky start. Pat McCrory and former Rep. Mark is in good shape against Walker. But in Pennsylvania, celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Ozu Despite Trump’s late endorsement, Franklin and Marshall is locked in a tight race with college CEO David McCormick and conservative activist Kathy Barnett, according to a recent poll by the college.
Trump’s decision to return Oz drew the doctor’s media attention and led to a rally Friday night, where Trump spoke to the effect of his Vance endorsement (“He was like a rocket ship,” Trump said with sound effects). Trumpeted, praising Oz (“I’ve known him a long time. His show is great. He’s on that screen. He’s in all those ladies’ bedrooms”) and McCormick as a “liberal Wall Street Republican”. who are “absolutely candidates of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment.”
But Oz hasn’t seen the kind of voting boom that Vance enjoyed in the days following Trump’s arrival. And that resistance was on display in rain and mud on Friday, with some in the crowd shouting at Trump’s first mention of Oz’s name. According to the video of the incident, as he was walking on the stage, Aarav and others were standing and turning their backs to him.
Vance, who attended the rally with Trump, made the case to voters that even though he did not support Oz, the race was a referendum on Trump himself.
“It’s not about Dr. Oz,” Vance said. “It’s not about anything other than you and Donald Trump. These people are trying to make it so that the Trump-backed candidate loses because when they return the fake news media they’ll say, ‘Okay, Donald Trump. Support doesn’t matter,'” he went on. “We need to support candidates who are supported by Donald Trump. That’s why here I am.”
The month will end with contests in Alabama — where Trump removed Rep. Mo Brooks when it became clear the candidate was struggling in his Senate race — and in Georgia, where the gubernatorial race is Trump’s biggest challenge. . For now, he’s up for a big defeat, Brian Kemp, the Republican governor behind former Sen. David Perdue, is arguably the biggest target of Trump’s electoral calendar as he slammed Trump’s efforts to try to reverse the results of the 2020 election.
Still, even if their candidates lose their primaries, or ultimately their general elections, Trumpism has already won. Hundreds of candidates have run in the former president’s image and on his “America First” policy – some running ads claiming his support even failed to support him – explaining how Trump has dramatically reduced the party. That’s changed as he runs another run for president in 2024.
And while it appeared at one point as if party leaders might disapprove of him, Trump would headline a major party fundraiser again on Monday, this time speaking at a national Republican congressional committee dinner in Dallas.